WHY WERE YOU BORN?
I always like to find balance in our Sunday morning experiences. Last month, we explored some powerful, powerful secrets of manifestation by studying the life and lessons of Moses. Even though the work we did together was most certainly internal work, the focus was on the external experience.
And while there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that, I like to balance the outer focus with an internal focus. So, we are going to spend this month going deeply inward and exploring the nature of our very beingness.
In order to do that, we may have to get through some layers of stuff we have accumulated along this life's journey. Because as we were growing up, many of us were told, in verbal and nonverbal ways, a lot of things that just weren't true. Conversely, we were NOT told many things that were true.
This month, we will dispel false information and open ourselves up to explore some spiritual Truths about ourselves we may never have been told, and I want to begin this morning with a story.
One day, a man found an egg and put it in a nest of barnyard hens to be incubated and hatched. Little did the man know that the egg was not the egg of a chicken but rather an egg of an eagle. Obviously, neither did the eaglet, so he hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up thinking he was a barnyard chicken and living like a barnyard chicken lives.
He scratched the earth for worms and insects and chicken feed. He clucked and he cackled. He thrashed his wings awkwardly and flew only a few feet in the air before coming clumsily back down to the ground. Years passed and the eagle, living like a chicken, grew very old.
One day, he noticed something exquisite soaring gracefully and beautifully in the sky. It was a magnificent bird gliding majestically among powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat of its strong golden wings.
The old eagle looked up in awe. "What is that?" he asked. "That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbor. "He can soar; he belongs to the sky; he is free. We, we aren't like that. We're just chickens - we belong to the earth."
So the eagle spent all of his days living like a chicken, for that is what he thought he was.a
Who do you think you are? That questions is not asked in a critical way at all, but to elicit some deep thinking in you.
In the metaphor of our story, do you think you were born a chicken, destined to cluck and cackle and scratch the ground searching for worms and insects, occasionally and awkwardly flapping your wings in an attempt to fly, but never really making it off the ground?
Or do you know that you were born a majestic eagle with the absolute capability to spread your wings and soar gracefully, magnificently and freely throughout your life?
This is the spiritual truth of you - a truth you may not ever have been told. And in order to live from this truth, it is important that we get clear on the answer to three fundamental questions. When we can answer AND LIVE FROM the answers of these three questions, we will come a long way in embodying Truths and dispelling untruths.
Why are you here?
What are you here to do?
Who are you here to be? . . .
. . . summed up in today's title "Why Were You Born?"
Living the answers to those questions (not just answering them, but living them!) enables us to spread our wings and sore majestically like the powerful eagle. So, what do you say we explore them?
1. WHY ARE YOU HERE?
1. Why Are You Here?
I talk about this pretty much every week in one way or another, but it deserves our explicit attention here this morning, because without answering it, we can't really answer the next two questions.
And I am going to say it in ways that may be slightly different from how I have said it in the past, so listen up!
You are here to bring Spirit, God, Divine Energy, to this earthly experience in your own perfect way!
You are here so that the Divine Idea of Life might fulfill Itself.
You are here so that the Divine Circuitry may be complete.
You are here to bring the metaphysical (the unformed, infinite potentiality) into the physical (the formed, the tangible).
Do you know that? Have you truly made that discovery? If not, it really is a discovery worth making! Do you truly realize the significance of that? Do you comprehend the power of that Reality?
Ralph Waldo Emerson, a philosopher and poet of the late 1800's said: "There is no planet, sun or star could hold you if you but knew what you are!"b
There is no planet, sun or star could hold you if you but knew what you are!
Often not realizing who we are and the power we have right within us, we look around. And say, gee, I wish I could be like him, or her. Or she's got all the breaks -- why can't I be like that?
This concept is beautifully illustrated in the story of The Stonecutter from the Tao of Pooh.
There once was a stonecutter, who was dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day, he passed a wealthy merchant's house, and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he'd ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "I wish I could be a high official!"
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summer day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!"
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized it was the wind. "How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be the wind!"
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while, he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it - a huge towering stone. "How powerful that stone is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a stone!"
Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock, and felt himself being changed. "What could be more powerful than I, the stone?" he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.c
All the power there is; all the power we need is right inside us. Not just in some of us, but in each and every one of us. But like the stonecutter, we often think everyone else has it, but us.
So - you are here to be fully who you are and by doing so, you complete the Divine Circuitry. How are you doing with living from the answer to this first question?
2. WHAT ARE YOU HERE TO DO?
2. What Are You Here To Do?
There are lots of possible answers to this question, some very specific to the individual, and you probably think I am going to talk about finding your divine purpose, etc., etc. But nope, that's not where we are going to go today.
The answer I want us to explore for the next few minutes is equally applicable to all of us, and it is imperative that we ALL get this!
We are here to end the "not enough" paradigm -- In fact, we are here to prove that it does not exist, even though we have been told over and over and over and over that it does!
Not enough LOVE, not enough TIME, not enough ENERGY, not enough CREATIVITY not enough SUPPLY, especially in the form of MONEY!
James Dillet Freeman - The Household of Faith: "We are the children of the living God. The loving Father is here today and always, right in our midst, and it is our privilege to claim Him as our support and resource on conditions and terms that He will reveal to us when we have acknowledged Him and dismissed the fear of mammon."d
We've all heard of the word affluence. What do we usually think of when we think of it? Materially rich - an abundance of houses, cars, jewels, money, etc.
This is actually a corruption of the true meaning of the word. Affluence literally means "flow forth," or "a free flow." Eric Butterworth in Discover the Secret of Life writes: "Affluence" means "free flow", centered in the universal flow... The word "free flow" means the flow of the universal substance."e
So the word "affluence" really refers to the free flow of life; the free flow of the UNLIMITED Substance from which this universe is created.
Affluence, or the free flow of UNLIMITED Substance, then, is the natural state of things for us. So, wherever we see "NOT ENOUGH," we are seeing a frustration of the natural flow of Life. Until this is realized, and corrective measures are taken within each of us, all the activities and programs in the world will not help our species to evolve.
Charles Fillmore in Mysteries of the Four Gospels: "...if we send forth thoughts of hatred, of poverty, or sin, of sickness and so forth, these thoughts congregate together and at some time return to us with increase for redemption. [but] If we broadcast thoughts of love, prosperity, wisdom, power, we know that an aggregation of such thoughts as these will in time return to us with added blessings."f
What are we here to do? We are here to PROVE THIS LAW! We are here to end the "NOT ENOUGH" paradigm.
In Your Aladdin's Lamp: Ernest Holmes did a simple treatment for Bill Hornaday's success as the newly installed speaker at the Belmont Theatre and then said, "That's good. It's done, Bill. Now, go and prove the Principle."g
That's what we are to do. We are here to prove the Principle!
3. WHO ARE YOU HERE TO BE?
3. Who Are You Here To Be?
Finally, we are here to be a Spiritual Leader. If this is your first time here today, and the idea that you are here so that the Divine Idea of Life can fulfill Itself is new to you -- or if you have just dipped your toes into this belief -- the idea of stepping up into spiritual leadership may be a little daunting. That's OK, you don't have to step into spiritual leadership today!
But those of you who have been on this path for a while, how are you being a spiritual leader? What does this mean for you?
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said: "Our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men."h
One of the foremothers of the New Thought Movement, Emma Curtis Hopkins, wrote in her book Scientific Christian Mental Practice: "Persistent thought about prosperity, and how prosperity is brought to us, will make you a magnet for prosperity. However, your prosperity will not be the highest prosperity, it will not be useful prosperity, unless you know how to teach others to be prosperous. There must be a free giving of your Truth or the world may wait another million years for the wretched poverty of its people to be gone."i
Teach or lead, not necessarily in formal ways -- but by the way we live!
So how can you step more powerfully into spiritual leadership? What would it look like in your life?
Would it be refusing to play the "ain't it awful game?"
Would it be choosing to be the voice for love in a situation of hate?
Would it be to have a positive, life affirming influence on a child?
Would it be to be the ray of sunshine at your office?
Would it be to share your insights and practices around prosperity?
A Course in Miracles says: "Who would attempt to fly with the tiny wings of a sparrow when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?"j
And to adjust it so that it fits our metaphor of this morning: Who would attempt to live like a chicken when the mighty power of an eagle has been given him?
And so, my friends, I want you to leave here this morning knowing that no matter what your age is, or where you have been in life, no matter what you have done or haven't down up to this point, no matter how lost or off track you may have felt -- it is never too late to begin to spiritually soar like an eagle.
- It is never too late to remember why you are here and to start living from that place.
- It is never too late to say "Yes" to AFFLUENCE, the natural flow of Substance through you;
- And it is never too late to fulfill your role as a spiritual leader!
In this way, you will definitely spread your mighty spiritual wings and live from your Divine Truth!
And so it is!
aChicken Soup, 4th Helping, p. 250
bRalph Waldo Emerson
cTao of Pooh
dJames Dillet Freeman - The Household of Faith
eEric Butterworth in Discover the Secret of Life
fCharles Fillmore in Mysteries of the Four Gospels
gYour Aladdin's Lamp: Bill Hornaday
hFranklin D. Roosevelt
iEmma Curtis Hopkins Scientific Christian Mental Practice, p. 169
jA Course in Miracles